Wioletta Greg

book-kazmierski-finite

Griffin Poetry Prize 2015
International Shortlist

Book: Finite Formulae & Theories of Chance

Translator: Marek Kazmierski

Poet: Wioletta Greg

Publisher: Arc Publications

Click here to read and listen to an excerpt.

Marek Kazmierski and Wioletta Greg read All about my father

All about my father

Father, son of the muddy Warta, of Bo?y Stok,
of Silesian reservoirs and Jurassic quarries,
Calmus warrior with a bamboo bow,
conducting guerrilla wars with muskrats
brave enough to bite through spatterdock arteries,
love-seat onanist, if memory serves right,
fisherman with a burdock leaf hat, magician,
who miracled fags out of spit, baccy and paper.
In that smoke you excelled in beetle mythologies,
like the Tribolium destructor who lives in nut shells
and, when in danger, destroys its own larvae,
musician, abusing by night your innocent
banjo and my ears with grand improvisations,
playing on leaves before your stunned family
the songs of Elvis Presley and prison ballads,
bee keeper, with your bare hands carrying
young swarms to the orchard hive, feeding them caramel,
pigeon fancier, poacher, master of ceremonies,
you picked through acres of gossamer bones,
snared partridges curled up in the wheat;
denying pheasants their nuptial ointments and air,
guinea fowl trapped in copper skeletons,
you stuffed cleaned marten skins with wadding,
father whom I found, if memory serves right,
in the Wildstein collaborators list, you who schooled
workers in corridors to mark their time cards
like sick, white tongues, of pylorus which sends
paper to be wasted, always seen at demonstrations,
at parties, at villages fêtes, you farming Don Juan,
attendant to all ailments, you saved my life
with canine lard, if memory serves right,
lord of hypochrondiacs, killed daily by one of
five hundred pages from the Family Book of Medicine.
May the sky-blue kingfisher who wove his nest within
your weak heart be damned for all time.

From Finite Formulae & Theories of Chance by Marek Kazmierski translating from Polish by Wioletta Greg
Copyright © Marek Kazmierski 2014

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